music of the month: whenyoung

The first band to feature as Hate zine's Music of the Month are Limerick natives, whenyoung. Comprised of Aoife Power (bass and vocals), Niall Burns (guitar) and Drew Flood (drums), we caught up with them in the garden of The Windmill ahead of their set at the Hate party a few weeks ago. 

How long have you been playing as a band?

Aoife: We started last April or May. We're all friends from Limerick in Ireland, but we met again after we moved to London separately. It's been about two years now.

Niall: We all just started playing together for something to do.

When did you come to London?

Aoife: About 4 or 5 years ago.

Did you feel any friction when you first arrived?

Aoife: Actually I think that when we first arrived we really enjoyed how anonymous it was. At home everyone knows your business, judges the way that you're dressed and that kind of thing, here you can just escape.

Do you think being from Limerick has influenced your music?

Niall: Lyrically I think, yeah.

Aoife: A lot of the imagery in the words come from home. The city is a bit rough around the edges and doesn't have the greatest name, and I think that's maybe made us a bit angry... Even though we've left there.

Niall: It shapes who you are really

Aoife: I think if we came from somewhere really dreamy that we really loved then we probably wouldn't have left. We probably wouldn't have been writing if there wasn't a little bit of a struggle there.

Drew: The fact that we had to leave there to come to a new place and start afresh, that shapes it as well.

Photo:  Holly Whitaker  

What do you currently find inspiration in?

Drew: Well I think sound-wise we're definitely interested in stuff from New York in the 70s, Patti Smith, Richard Hell and stuff like that.

Aoife: Films by people like Jim Jarmusch as well.

Niall: Yeah the aesthetic of that is quite important, which is something we try to bring into our videos.

You have a really strong aesthetic!

Aoife: Thank you! We love stuff like Godard, and how the primary colours stand out in that.

Drew: A band is not necessarily just about the music, aesthetics are important.

Aoife: Yeah and lyrically we try to write about things not just in our lives, but you know, "current affairs".

Niall: The news. We love the news.

With that in mind, is there anybody that you're particularly trying to reach with your music?

Niall: I think just as many people as possible really.

Drew: I think as much as we are inspired by people, we don't try to emulate anything. We try to make something new and we try to re-define ourselves, so in that respect we don't really have a target for our audience... Just whoever can identify with the songs.

Aoife: I think we try to make quite melodic music, pop songs that anyone can get in to.

Niall: We love the squares as well. Our target audience is square people.

We've been talking a lot recently about accessibility for people within the music industry. Have you ever encountered any barriers, or had any ideas of ways which the music industry could fundamentality be better?

Drew: We can only speak for ourselves, but to be honest the only obstacles we've encountered have been self-imposed, just trying to learn more, write better songs, that kind of thing.

Niall: We've never really encountered any obstacles from other people as such.

Aoife: We have never tried to win over people in the industry, although obviously we want to make music as much as possible... But we can only do what's true to us, we're not trying to please anyone. 

Drew: I think if you're true to yourself and push yourselves to make things then people identify with you eventually, whether you're a pop band or something really obscure, as long as you're good and you're really into it.

Can you tell us what you're working on at the moment, and any releases you have coming up?

Aoife: Our current single is online and just about to come out on vinyl, and is called Pretty Pure, with The Collector as the b-sides, which is on Yala Records.

Drew: After that we're in the studio, and then releasing more stuff at the start of the summer.

Words by Rob Greer. 

All photography by Holly Whitaker